A young woman walked up and over hills on paths well known to her. A small baby strapped to her back. Frustration and worry hardened her features, her llamas were missing and as she made her way back to her sheep flock, horror overtook her. There, in the pen, surrounded by the bodies of her animals was what looked like a small man. It turned to face her with a bag of organs at its side and a tool still draining the blood from her animals. She had come face to face with the Potosi Sheep Slayer.
When you think of a place removed, removed from the cultural connection that many of us enjoy thanks to the widespread access of media, the picture in your mind is a place much like Potosi, Bolivia in 1968. That was the year Valentina came face to face with the sheep slayer.
Valentina had spent that morning much like she had any other, her husband had long gone to work in another area and she was forced to tend to their only livelihood, sheep. She spent the day herding them between grazing areas. When she moved to a field with a stone stable, Valentina noticed that her llamas were missing. (Shepherds often keep llamas in their flocks to act as protectors for the sheep.)
She had her small baby tied to her back in a traditional cloth bundle and took the child along to track down the missing livestock. Hours later she returned empty-handed to the pen. The young mother couldn’t have imagined the scene she would be walking into.
The stable was covered in a silvery tent made of a see-through like mesh. Littered inside it were the torn apart bodies of her sheep and in the center of the carnage was a small odd shape, a tiny man. Valentine drew closer and described in an interview later on that the man wore a strange one-piece suit, and had a metal backpack with red straps that crisscrossed across its chest. At its side was a grisly bag of organs. Valentina noticed that even though all her sheep slaughtered, there wasn’t a single drop of blood.
Descriptions of the creature differ slightly other than that. Some reports say it wore a smoky helmet that kept its features hidden, others that it had a propeller-like hat and revealed blue eyes and a blond mustache. What doesn’t differ is what Valentina did upon seeing it.
She flew into a rage. The Sheep Slayer was startled by the woman and quickly moved to a silvery machine which drew the netting back inside it. As soon as the net was down, Valentina advanced. She would later go on to explain that at that moment she was not afraid of the cryptid, she wanted to hit it as hard as she could. And she did.
Valentina took a walking stick which she used to keep the animals in order and hit the mutilator square in the face. It staggered back, crying out in a language she couldn’t understand. Some reports say that at this time another tiny man who had been on the other side of the netting took off in a chair that pulled him into the sky. Alone, the Sheep Slayer defended itself from the angry woman. Attached to its suit by some sort of tubing was a hook that it threw at Valentina. It cut into her chest but in her rage, she barely felt the wound. She lunged at the butcher and with another blow snapped his arm. Broken and in pain, the Potosi Sheep Slayer retreated to the hills with its strange technology before taking off into the sky just like its partner.
Upon inspection, the sheep showed classic signs of livestock mutilation. Missing eyes and sexual organs, and they were completely drained of blood. Now, these reports were not as widespread at the time as they are today, though there were theories of alien involvement even back then. However, it is very unlikely that Valentina would have
known about them. That disconnect mentioned earlier plays a large part in the believability of her account.
Valentina was illiterate, as was her husband and many that she socialized with. The likelihood of her story being influenced by outside reports of aliens and cattle mutilations is very small. In fact, when she was interviewed decades later she expressed no knowledge of aliens and wasn’t keen on the concept.
After Valentina came forward with her account, others admitted they had seen similar creatures around their own animals. They claimed the pintsized trespassers would leave a carcass in their wake, also empty of blood.
Some have drawn connections between the description of the Potosi Sheep Slayer and other alien encounters. A type of extraterrestrial often scene in abduction events is called a Nordic. They are said to have very human features, features also shared with the Sheep Slayer. Blond hair, blue eyes, pale skin, though Nordic aliens are described as being much taller.
My take on the Potosi Sheep Slayer is one of intrigue. It may be one of the first reports of livestock mutilation where someone actually witnesses the act as it happens. It is also in the running for the strangest alien encounter I’ve ever come across. The image of a very pissed off woman smacking a spaceman with a club is one I can’t get out of my head.
(If you enjoyed the Potosi Sheep Slayer, please feel free to check out other fascinating cryptids under the Creature Feature category.)
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